Hengst’s shots help lift Ridge
SAXTON – Braden Hengst was reinserted into the game early in the fourth quarter as a spot-up shooter with the green light to fire away.
Hengst knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers that stretched the Chestnut Ridge lead to five almost midway through, and the Lions didn’t allow Tussey Mountain to get any closer the rest of the way in picking up a Sideling Hill League victory, 56-49, to sweep the season series on Saturday night.
“I asked Braden if he was ready to go – I told him it was his time,” Chestnut Ridge coach Randy Meck said. “We saw we had the opportunity because they were trapping Tyler [Wiley] and Jordan [Crist], we knew we were going to get a shot in the corner. Braden, to his credit, said he was ready, and he went in and knocked in two big shots for us.”
Hengst finished with 10 points, while Tyler Wiley and J.D. Weyant led the way with 15 apiece.
“My kids knew [who their shooters were], but the kids just don’t listen very good,” Tussey Mountain coach Dave Bailey said. “He [Hengst] hit the two big 3s that gave them breathing room.”
The Titans grabbed their last lead of the contest at the 7:17 mark of the fourth on a bucket by Drew Sitch that made it 41-40.
J.D. Weyant buried a shot just 16 seconds later that put Ridge up for good, then watched as Hengst sandwiched his treys between a layup by the Titans’ Andrew Bithell.
Following the Hengst triples, the Lions pushed their lead to eight (51-43) when point guard Jordan Crist canned 3-of-4 free throws.
“He [Coach Meck] told us at halftime that there is a switch where you can either be tough or there’s a time to play,” Hengst said. “I figured, it was time to turn the switch on and be tough – it’s time to play.”
Tussey got it back to five with just 23.4 ticks remaining when Michael Mitchell made good on a layup.
Luke Stultz put the capper on the game by knocking down two free throws in four tries to set the final.
Ridge led most of the way, including at the end of every quarter, and the Lions took an early eight point lead (32-24) at the 6:19 mark of the third.
However, Tussey Mountain was able to scratch and claw its way back by going on a 9-0 run in less than 1 minute when Parker Cornelius drilled a 3-pointer in between treys from Ryan Leonard. Leonard’s second knotted the game at 33-33.
“I was definitely concerned because Ryan Leonard hit a couple of shots to swing the momentum [in Tussey’s favor] Meck said. “Then we were able to come back and answer the way we did.”
The Titans were able to grab their first lead (37-35) since the early going at the 3:05 mark of the third when Luke Zelanko, who scored a team-high 12 points, drained both free throws, then following an inside basket by Ridge’s Jay Grubb, Zelanko gave his team their last edge with a two with 1:18 left in the stanza.
The free throw story was one-sided as the Lions knocked down 19 of 34, while the Titans made four of the nine they took.
“Forty-nine [points] is not enough for us. Holding them to 56 isn’t real bad, but the other total isn’t enough,” Bailey said. “We have too many shooters – someone else should have stepped up and got the job done.”
CHESTNUT RIDGE (56): Stultz 1 3-6 5, M. Wiley 0 3-8 3, Crist 0 3-4 3, T. Wiley 5 3-4 15, Weyant 5 5-8 15, Bowser 0 0-0 0, Hengst 3 1-2 10, Grubb 1 1-2 3, Monko 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 19-34 56.
TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (49): Sitch 3 0-0 6, Bithell 2 0-0 4, Cornelius 3 0-0 8, Mitchell 3 0-0 7, Zelanko 4 4-9 12, Kline 1 0-0 2, Black 0 0-0 0, Leonard 4 0-0 10, Donelson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 4-9 49.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Chestnut Ridge10 19 11 16 – 56
Tussey Mountain7 15 17 10 – 49
3-point goals: Chestnut Ridge 5 (Hengst 3, T. Wiley 2); Tussey Mountain 5 (Leonard 2, Cornelius 2, Mitchell).
Records: Chestnut Ridge (6-4 overall, 3-2 SHL); Tussey Mountain (6-3, 2-2).
JV: Chestnut Ridge, 54-40. High scorers-Matt Monko, CR, 19; Patrick Black, TM, 16.